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Biochar Industries Project – Adam Retort Biochar Kiln

Hello Biocharians or should I say fellow inhabitants of this wonderful planet ? Yes it is true Biochar Industries is now taking on more projects so bookmark this website and keep looking for updates. www.biocharproject.org or www.biocharindustries.com here is a progress report on project Adam retort.

Paul looking at foundations for the Adam retort that are half done

Paul looking at foundations for the Adam retort that are half done down at BiocharIndustries Kunghur education centre

This project started out as a Bush mechanics exemplar project from one of Biochar Industries team members but has quickly become a many hands make light work type of a project.

Foundations cemented but to our horor where not good enough

Foundations cemented but to our horor where not good enough

For more information on the fantastic learning system we have here at Biochar Industries please look at this web site http://www.kalgrove.com/adultlearning/ also if you have a project or a scientific trial you would like to get started please email me at dolph@biocharproject.org and we will see what we can do.

Enjoy the photos and the captions of Biochar Industries Project – Adam Retort Biochar Kiln.

Looking from North to south

Looking from North to south

Stay Tuned more photos to come

Charmaster Dolph

The adam retort biochar making kiln was selected for its abillity to make charcoal out of all kinds of wood sizes. Here at Biochar Industries we are going to put it through its paces and write a full report so other biocharians can learn critical information to help them select the right technology for thier needs. We are also making the charcoal available for purchase.

For more information about our Biochar for sale please send emails with subject to Biochar Industries re Biochar for sale. to me dolph@biocharproject.org

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{ 69 comments… add one }
  • warren April 8, 2011, 11:33 am

    your pictorials looks interesting and economical, could you send me a detailed plan and specifications of your adam-retort kiln. thanks and more power

  • admin April 9, 2011, 7:43 am

    Just sent you an email with the ecconomics of this project.


  • Graham Sayell April 14, 2011, 10:01 am

    Hi there,
    I’m really keen to build one of these kilns for making charcoal from the coppice of sustainably managed woodlands here in the UK. Would it be possible to send me the costings and any info on where to get hold of the plans ?
    Many thanks, Graham.

  • admin April 14, 2011, 5:23 pm

    Sure Graham Ill send you an email.
    Charmaster Dolph

  • wendy ramirez May 13, 2011, 11:26 pm

    We are located in Honduras and would like to build a retort biochar kin, can you please email me.
    Thank you,

    wendy ramirez,
    finca buenos aires

  • admin May 14, 2011, 6:18 am

    Hello Wendy,
    Sending you an email right now. Hello to Honduras from Australia.

    Charmaster Dolph

  • ronald rafer May 21, 2011, 5:26 am

    as a part of our project in guardians stop global warming foundation in the philippines, i am interested in building a retort kiln for charring biomass waste to make biomass briquettes…can you send me details on how can i build one base on your design?…

    thanks a lot,


  • Rajesh Toshniwal May 26, 2011, 3:40 am

    I am a coffee grower in India and am already making Bio char using traditional techniques, which are quite inefficient and not environment friendly. I am looking for this kind of a retort design to improve our biochar quality and efficiency and also be environment friendly. I will be very interested to implement your Adam Retort design at my coffee plantations. Can you please email me the design and process to implement this project.



  • robert chappell May 29, 2011, 1:45 am

    Greetings from Brenham Texas USA:
    Any suggestions for converting an old BarBQ pit to a kiln? It is brick,
    6.5 ft by 4 ft by 2.5 ft tall. The pit will hold 32 cu yds of mass. Before learning about biochar I used it to burn yard trash. Can,t do that now. We are under a burn ban because of the drouth Don,t want to set the county on fire nor make the sheriff unhappy. Thanks for your work and time.

  • Charmaster May 29, 2011, 7:14 am

    Howdy Partner : ) (Always wanted to say that : )
    Ok going to make a post especially for you please
    look at http://www.biocharproject.org/news or

    Charmaster Dolph Cooke

  • robert chappell May 30, 2011, 12:01 am

    Greetings mate. (Always wanted to say that.)
    Thanks for the prompt reply. Enjoyed the post. I have ordered
    Dr Taylors book. Looking forward to receiving it. It’s hot,DRY,and windy here. Texas in the summer time.

  • Andrew Koval June 9, 2011, 5:34 am

    Hello, I’m from Ukraine. I make charcoal for inefficient plants that pollute the environment. Tell me, please, how I can get the drawings and description of your perfect retort. Regards, Andrew.

  • Andrew Koval June 9, 2011, 5:45 am

    Sorry,in previous message, the wrong email address.

  • Andrew Koval June 9, 2011, 5:57 am

    Hello, I’m from Ukraine. I produce charcoal for inefficient plants that pollute the environment. Tell me how I can get the drawings and description of your amazing retort. Regards, Andrew.

  • robert chappell June 10, 2011, 2:29 am

    Greetings from Brenham Texas: Still hot and dry in Texas. We need a small storm. Thought I would talk about my introduction to biochat. I planted a garden in hopes of raising some food. I’m a 80 yr. old retired teacher. Well to make a short story long very little of what I planted came up. twelve corn plants out of 50 planted. The ground was dry and the wind was 30 mph .Plants are stunted in high winds. So I started a search on how to increase the fertility of my sandy hill. Found the BBC’s program “The Secret of Eldardo”. I knew about the dark soil of the Amazon. Came across biochar and read all that I could find. Making biochar in my back yard is out of the question for now because of the burn ban in the county. Most counties in Texas are under a burn ban because of the dry conditions across the state. Read about Cowboy charcoal made in Kentucky so I purchased two bags. I made some compost tea and dumped the charcoal in. I let it soak for a week (not long enough but) It soaked up most of the tea. I then mixed the 8.8 lbs of charcoal with 40 lbs of compost. The lumps were too large so this morning I started crushing the mixture. Put the biochar on a plastic bag on the garage floor and using the end of a 3 ft 2×4 started making little bits out of large bits. Slow but I don,t have anything else to do. It is making some good looking stuff. Put some in some newly potted plants. That,s all for now.

  • robert chappell June 10, 2011, 11:12 am

    Greetings Mate:
    Talked to the boss and she said that we can do the pictures. That means that we have the know how. Send the e-mail address and we will go from there.
    Planted some Ivy in a bed and put a half cup of biochar in each hole. Interested to see the results.

  • Charmaster June 10, 2011, 11:50 am

    Thats fantastic news. : ) I have sent you an email.
    Charmaster Dolph

  • robert chappell June 16, 2011, 6:34 am

    Greetings from Brenham Texas;
    It’s still hot and dry and the burn ban continues. I found a web site that showed using Cowboy brand charcoal to make biochar. The process was exactly as mine. Even to using a 2×4 to crush lumps. There is noting new under the sun. Google ” daves garden 1669″ and you will find the article. I did not receive your e-mail .

  • rory hanley August 5, 2011, 11:48 am

    This is very exciting and i would love to build on of these kilns, could i please get the plans as i would really like to build one of these. Also why use two different types of bricks on this kiln

  • Charmaster August 5, 2011, 5:04 pm

    Hello Rory, Check your email I have sent you a message regarding your Comment. Charmaster Dolph Cooke

  • Neema Maria August 17, 2011, 3:36 am

    I too am interested in building a kiln just like this. Please advice on how I can get the design and instructions. I wonder if this is also useful in making charcoal for fuel from agriculture waste. I know biochar is used for soil improvement as well, however i am interested with fuel charcoal. Thanks. I will really apprecaiate your help.

  • Charmaster August 17, 2011, 7:16 am

    Hello Neema, I have sent you an email. Lets keep in touch.

  • Michael August 17, 2011, 8:09 am

    Hi Charmaster,
    I’ve been battling weeds (privot and lantana) down here on the south coast using goat and man power. We have cleared over 2 acres of the rotten stuff and now have some resources that need to be recycled. I still have 25 acres to go. I don’t like to mulch or chip it because of the seeds. I’ve been experimenting with a tlud 44gal barrel system but find the preparing and loading of the system very time consuming. Any chance you could send me a design plan for the adam retort.
    Cheers, Mike

  • Charmaster August 17, 2011, 8:04 pm

    Hey Mike got some photos of your tlud and farm mate send them up and Ill post a project for you. Also sending you an email about plans and stuff.
    Charmaster Dolph

  • Rune October 4, 2011, 9:47 pm


    I live in the Philippines and I am looking for a project where I can use heat from making charcoal for drying copra. Is it possible for you to send detailed plans for “Adam retort”?

  • Charmaster October 5, 2011, 7:35 am

    Hello Mate

    I will send you the contact of someone who can help

    Charmaster Dolph

  • Pete October 20, 2011, 4:43 pm

    Have been reading all day about biochar. Moving on to a small acreage in central Iowa and would love to show the local farmers, its doesnt have to be all chemicals, all the time. If you could please send me a copy of the plans and keep up the good work…..


  • Jay October 25, 2011, 5:25 am

    I am impressed with your low cost and environment friendly option to make Charcoal. Please can you provide copy of the design and guideline document to build it.

    Does this design work to make larger klin?


  • Charmaster October 25, 2011, 5:33 am

    Hello Jay

    I will send you the contact of someone who can help with your biochar request

    Charmaster Dolph

  • Tyrone Chin October 31, 2011, 1:50 am

    Hello, my name is Tyrone. I found this information extremely useful and informative. I was wondering if someone could contact in regards to setting up my own Adam retort kiln. Any help received would be greatly appreciated, thanks.

  • Charmaster October 31, 2011, 6:21 am

    Hello Tyrone,

    Just passed your info on to someone who can help.
    They will contact you shortly

    Charmaster Dolph

  • Daniel Marion November 28, 2011, 3:45 am

    Hello there,

    Admiring your retort kiln with awe and have been doing a fair bit of research. I am from Maine and to my knowledge there aren’t any farms producing Biochar. I was hoping you might be able to pass on design plans or some info that can point me in the right direction. Thank you for your time and being stewards of the environment.

  • Charmaster November 28, 2011, 6:09 pm

    Check your email Daniel I have sent you info

    Charmaster Dolph

  • william December 6, 2011, 7:57 am

    hi there,
    I’m William from Indonesia. can i get this adam retort design?
    i dont really understand looking @ the picture. any blueprint of it?
    thanks before

  • FRANCES December 9, 2011, 1:09 pm

    Hi there,
    I’m really keen to build an Adam retort kilns for making charcoal from the sustainably managed woodlands here in Uganda.Please send me some plans and designs of the ICPS ?

  • SeanChan January 10, 2012, 3:34 pm

    Hi Charmaster,
    I am from Malaysia and I am convinced that an Adam’s Retort Kiln you showed is the way to go for Biochar. I am currently using a small TLUD so the process is very slow. I would appreciate if you could help me with your design plans so I can build an Adam’s Retort in my small farm. Your pictures are the most detailed I have seen posted and I have enjoyed this site very much.
    Thank you.

  • Tony Brown February 1, 2012, 7:41 pm

    Thanks for sharing these photos and details of building your kiln. We have a small farm in North Florida that’s planted mostly in pines. We also have a relationship with a local school that uses the farm as part of its sustainability curriculum. We’d like to build a retort like yours to recycle our waste pine and to improve our fields (and the school’s gardens). Please send plans for the retort.

  • Ian Verzosa February 4, 2012, 2:29 am


    I am looking forward to build Adam Retort Biochar Kiln in my place in the Philippines. Can you please send me the simplified detailed of the kiln on how to construct. You may e-mail me at: yap_ianverzosa@yahoo.com

    I truly appreciate for your assistance.

    Thank you very much.

    Best regards.


  • Milan Brdarsky March 27, 2012, 9:46 pm

    I am from Slovakia. Nobody here ever heard about biochar so I like to do some adv to this great thing. I´d like to build Adam retort kiln for making biochar from the woodlands and green waste around my city, along with composting site. As I know it should be the first farm producing biochar in Central Europe. Would it be possible to send me the costings and any info on where to get hold of the plans ? Could you please advice on how I can get the design and instructions? Or could I contact someone in regards to setting up my own kiln?
    Many thanks.

  • Stephen Briggs April 23, 2012, 10:03 am


    I am very impressed with the adam-retort design and have many old kiln bricks laying around our biodynamic farm. Are the plans available somewhere for the Adam Retort and could you send them if you have them or send a link?

    Many Thanks,


  • Gumphol Wong May 1, 2012, 5:34 pm

    I am looking forward to build Adam Retort Biochar Kiln in my place in the Thailand. Can you please send me the simplified detailed and diagram of the kiln on how to construct.

    Best regards,

  • Nguyen Van Xuan June 30, 2012, 9:41 am

    My name is Xuan, come from Vietnam. I would like to make biocharcoal from agricultural wastes but traditional techniques in our country are quite inefficient and not environment friendly. So I am very interesting with your informations about Adam Retort kiln design. Could you please email me the design and process to implement this project
    Thank you so much
    Best Regards,

  • Coconut Shell Charring July 18, 2012, 6:02 am

    Hi, I am looking to build a carbonization unit to burn coconut shells in India and then use the charcoal to produce activated carbon. Will Adam Retort design work for this? Where and how I can obtain more design, cost, efficiency details? Is any one build Adam Retrot for charring coconut shells? Is this different from closed pit charring?

    Appreciate your response.

  • Harvey Bijnaar August 28, 2012, 2:25 am

    Hello Dolph

    I’m from Suriname and I am interested in building a Adam Retort. Please advice on how I can get the design and instructions. Is this also useful in making charcoal for fuel? I will really apprecaiate your help.


  • JUNIUS GAILOR September 9, 2012, 4:28 am

    I’m very interested in constructing a Adams-Retort kiln in Liberia, West Africa where I reside. I would highly appreciate were you to send me the diagram and construction instructions as soon as possible.

  • Kevin November 2, 2012, 9:22 pm

    Hi Dolph

    I am interested in making this type of kiln for making charcoal from invasive alien tree species in South Africa. Would you send me the info required to get plans and costs for making and running your kiln.
    regards Kevin

  • S.L.RATHORE November 23, 2012, 1:55 am

    great charmaster,good morning.
    I want to construct.the so called ADAM RETROT,kiln to produce biochar from
    agrowaste,viz;dry leafs,small dry branches,dood chips ,husks,straw etc.
    after construction,i will conduct demostration,to creat awareess in farmers,and
    ask them to follow.let they learn how to get wealth from waste.
    awaiting to get deatails for construction of kilm.
    ur advice/suggestions are always welcome Sir.
    thank u.

  • Mehdi Bahmani December 18, 2012, 12:08 am

    Dear Dolph,
    We are located in Iran and I am interested to build Adam-Retort for production of Charcoal may you send me detail Information and desigining Plan to construct it??
    May I Know that Can we Put softwood Like Fruit Wood(Lemon, Orange) as input wood in the adam retort and produce softwood charcoal? do you have any exprience of softwood charcoal that can help me? plz explain me

    Sincerely yours

  • alex antolin January 18, 2013, 7:22 am

    sir,im from remote area and we are in need a way to convert our agricultural waste to char.i appreciate much your retort.can you share to us how to build this adam retort.(building plan).this will definitely help our community and get rid of the burning of waste that causes pollution.thanks.

  • flavio May 17, 2013, 9:10 pm

    Hi Dolphe!

    We have got some biomass from our farm in northern Brazil. so far we have been using the traditional kilns. I would like to try your concept in order reduce the pollution caused by this process. I would be very glad if you could send me your design description. Thanks alot!

  • Charmaster May 18, 2013, 6:36 am

    Sure Flavio I am always happy to help out a fellow biochar person. As you know I have a lot of designs for biochar units which are all free on the internet. Which one did you have in mind ?

    I will send you an email.

    Charmaster Dolph

  • Kevin Jamison July 30, 2013, 11:57 pm

    Hello, We are about to build an Adam retort on our farm in Virginia. Are there more detailed plans somewhere that we can access? Materials lists? Thank you!

  • Charmaster August 5, 2013, 6:37 pm

    I have seen on the internet somewhere the plans for it but I do not have them

    Charmaster Dolph Cooke

    IMHO it is not worth worrying about as I had one and it never worked and the people behind it could not care less.

  • Louise May 8, 2014, 7:55 pm

    I work at a wildlife centre and was hoping to build an adam retort kiln here in MAlawi for the benefit of our surrounding communities. Could you please let me know how I could obtain some detailed plans for construction?

  • kevin shea June 18, 2014, 9:49 am

    Chris and Adam,
    I can understand costs for the workshop and consultation.
    However, with appropriate technology designed for the poor and to help the earth, why are open source 3D plans not made available. Licensed? Franchise? Confused.

    Dear tinkerers,
    Any link to a 3D (sketchup, etc) or instructional manual. I am in Nicaragua, and can’t make it to the Northeast workshop.


    Indio Jones

  • Charmaster June 18, 2014, 1:34 pm

    Hello Kevin,

    Chris adams does not have any affiliation with this website. We are in agreement with your comments why try and take money off the poor ?. I do have a sketchup somewhere someone once sent to me. I also have lots of videos from when I made one here so drop me a line if you would like those.

    Charmaster Dolph Cooke

  • Ken Nielsen July 27, 2014, 3:20 pm

    Hello, I am doing volunteer work in Rural Philippines assisting them with forestry. They are making charcoal using the traditional pit mound. It is terribly wasteful and polluting. They have no money to buy plans. I am willing to supply the materials and help them to build such a retort kiln.
    Any assistance will be much appreciated.
    Thank you
    Ken Nielsen

  • Yonathan March 11, 2015, 5:04 am


    Im yonathan from Indonesia. I’m interested of making Adam retort as part of the Green project here. Can you send me the sketch and design please?

    Thank You

  • Travis Morehead June 24, 2015, 10:37 am

    Hello. I am interested in building an adam retort but I can’t find any instructions. Can you assist me? I am the chair of a non profit and we teach people how to grow organic food and want to add this to repertoire to restore our sandy soils.

  • Husni March 24, 2017, 5:43 am

    Dear Charmaster.
    Iam Husni from East Java Indonesia.
    kiln what should I do to make charcoal ?? if it is not effective retort adam….

  • Charmaster March 24, 2017, 6:36 am
  • Nahide July 28, 2017, 6:45 am

    May I ask your help for detailed plans on how to built adam retort for making biochar. Biochar mainly will be used degraded areas to improve.
    Thanks in advance for your help.

  • CB Balaji December 10, 2017, 1:54 pm

    We are into charcoal trading business. We would like to manufacture on our own. Please I need the diagram and details.
    CB Balaji

  • Steven Kawas February 12, 2018, 8:42 am

    Hi there,
    I’m really keen to build one of these kilns for making charcoal from the coconut shells here in El Salvador. Would it be possible if you could sen me the materials needed and the plans for construction?
    Many thanks, Steven.

  • James ELIMA June 16, 2018, 5:54 am

    I live in Uganda, environmental degradation due to charcoal burning is a big problem in my country. Kindly can I have this design and help build an Adam Retort Kiln for my rural community. Thanks

  • Benito July 21, 2018, 2:00 pm

    Hallo i’m benito from suriname. I would like to build a adam retort for making biochar and charcoal . How can i get the plans and instructions.

    Thank you
    Best Regards,

  • steve hall August 1, 2018, 9:39 am


    Small farm off on a drought prone area of Vancouver Island, looking to build an adams retort. was hoping you might still be checking this site and be able to send me your plans used so we can get one up and running.


  • Jorge Jadid October 12, 2018, 2:31 am

    Hello. I am assistant professor in the Universidad de Oriente Cuba. I am interested in building an adam retort but I can’t find any instructions. Can you help me?

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